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Three years after layoffs, First Solar producing l...

Three years ago, the mood around the First Solar Inc. complex in Perrysburg Township was glum. The Tempe, Ariz.-based solar panel manufacturer announced the permanent layoff of about 450 employees as it phased out its older panels to make room for its new, larger Series 6 thin-film panels. The Series 6 went into production in mid-2018, and on Thursday the company commenced producing more of the Series 6 at a new plant that...

Study casts doubt on carbon capture

One proposed method for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere—and reducing the risk of climate change—is to capture carbon from the air or prevent it from getting there in the first place. However, research from Mark Z. Jacobson at Stanford University, published in Energy and Environmental Science, suggests that carbon capture technologies can cause more harm than good. “All sorts of scenarios have...

Overall, how safe is drinking water for most peopl...

Sometimes our drinking water systems experience dangerous failures, such as the Flint lead poisoning disaster that made major news beginning in 2014. But outside those headline grabbing crises, how safe is our drinking. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group wants to help you answer that question. It has collected all the water-quality information that utilities in the U.S. submit to their state environmental or public...

Chuck Schumer Proposes $454 Billion Plan to Swap G...

The Senate’s top Democrat, Charles Schumer of New York, proposed on Thursday a $454 billion 10-year plan to boost the sale of electric vehicles and reduce the number of gasoline-powered cars. His plan would offer cash vouchers to entice Americans to trade in their internal combustion engine car for a car that runs on hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel cells, according to Reuters. Schumer said in a statement that his...

Exxon Goes on Trial for Lying About the Climate Cr...

The country’s largest fossil fuel company goes on trial today to face charges that it lied to investors about the safety of its assets in the face of the climate crisis and potential legislation to fight it, as the AP reported. The lawsuit against ExxonMobil, the country’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses after Chevron, accuses the oil behemoth of using fuzzy math to assess its readiness for government...

Will the Public End up Paying to Clean up the Frac...

Increasingly, U.S. shale firms appear unable to pay back investors for the money borrowed to fuel the last decade of the fracking boom. In a similar vein, those companies also seem poised to stiff the public on cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on. “It’s starting to become out of control, and we want to rein this in,” Bruce Hicks, Assistant Director of the North Dakota Oil and Gas...

Environmentalists question use of radioactive brin...

Environmentalists are concerned that processed brine waste from oil and natural gas drilling could raise levels of radium — a radioactive metallic element found in the brine — in soil and groundwater. [File photo] Posted Oct 23, 2019 at 4:48 PM Updated at 5:48 AM Processed brine waste from oil and natural gas drilling could raise levels of radium — a radioactive metallic element found in the brine — in soil and groundwater...

New Study Finds Biodiversity Boosts Crop Yields, P...

Farms with just one or a handful of different crops encourage fewer species of pollinating and pest-controlling insects to linger, ultimately winnowing away crop yields, according to a new study. Up to half of the detrimental impacts of the “landscape simplification” that monocropping entails come as a result of a diminished mix of ecosystem service-providing insects, a team of scientists reported Oct. 16 in the...

We Need a Just Transition—Because We Should Abando...

The coal industry is dying. But we can’t allow the communities that have been dependent on coal to die along with it. Even if clean energy champions, environmentalists, and climate activists weren’t working together to end the burning of coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels would still be on its way out. The free market is seeing to that. As the cost of renewables continues to fall and the production of cheap...

Dark Money Is Pouring in to Protect the “Worst Ene...

In Ohio, the fight over a nuclear and coal bailout is getting weirder by the day. This summer, Ohio’s beleaguered nuclear and coal plants got a major gift in the promise of a big bailout. Now, the fight over that promise has escalated into one of the most dramatic and bizarre showdowns of the 2020 election cycle. It all started back in July, when the Ohio state legislature passed a law—called HB6—that, starting next year,...

Poll: Most Ohio voters support renewable energy de...

By Connor Smithee A new George Mason University poll shows that most voters in Ohio support renewable energy development. Registered voters in that state were asked by the university’s Center for Climate Change Communication what is the most important strategy to address Ohio’s energy needs. Of those who answered, 63% said it was more sources of renewable energy. Another 13% said it was development of natural gas power...

Can Solar and Batteries Outlast an Extended Power ...

It depends, experts say. Just expect to make a few sacrifices. Even by the standards of the generally well-informed clean-energy customers in California’s Bay Area, Todd Karin is a savvy one. Karin works as a postdoctoral researcher in the energy storage and distributed resources division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Last year, he chose to add solar and storage to his home, first buying an array of...

Solar-plus-storage projects spreading across the U...

A new wave of solar farm development, pairing solar photovoltaics with battery storage, is accelerating across the United States, most notably in California, Hawaii, Florida and the Northeast. Roughly 40 such systems were in operation in the U.S. as of late September, combining about 533 MW of storage with 1,242 MW of solar capacity. Meanwhile, companies are developing at least another 85 co-located solar and storage...

Toxic Metals Found in 95 Percent of Baby Foods

Heavy metals that may damage a developing brain are present in 95 percent of baby foods on the market, according to new research from the advocacy organization Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), which bills itself as an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first three years of development. Researchers commissioned by HBBF looked at 168...

From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing So...

Target and Walmart are trying to out-green each other in proving to customers they are environmentally responsible businesses. The Minneapolis retailer best-known for its trendy, private-label brands and its millennial-friendly prices, has very publicly embraced the renewable energy passions of its millennial-heavy consumer base and is adding rooftop solar panels to its stores to generate renewable electricity at a...

94 World Mayors Call for Green New Deal, Blast Slo...

Disappointed by the lack of concrete action at September’s UN Climate Action Summit, the mayors of some of the world’s biggest cities are taking matters into their own hands. The C40 group of mayors — who represent 94 cities, more than 700 million people and one quarter of the global economy — announced their support Wednesday for a Global Green New Deal to fight the climate crisis, The Guardian reported....

Brief overview of new IPCC report on oceans and ic...

New special report from IPCC lists array of increasing risks facing oceans and ice in a warming world. On the heels of its August special report on climate and land, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in late September published another special report, this one focused on oceans and ice. This latest report was authored by 104 climate scientists from 36 countries and reflecting findings in 6,981 studies. It...

Curbing runoff from giant livestock farms key to s...

CHICAGO – Summer may be over, but eyes still need to be on Lake Erie. Toxic algal blooms had another bad year, covering 620 square miles of the lake at one point with a thick green scum and microcystin toxins. The situation won’t improve until the manure and fertilizer runoff pollution causing the toxic algal blooms is significantly reduced. Until then, safe clean drinking water will be impaired and at risk every summer,...

On Climate and Food, What’s the Lesson We Insist o...

Food will be scarce, expensive and less nutritious,” CNN warns us in its coverage of the UN’s new “Climate Change and Land” report. The New York Times announces that “Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply.” Reading these headlines, I’m tossed back to the late ’60s when our culture was gripped by what I came to call the “scarcity scare,” as Paul...

We’re Just Starting to Learn How Fracking Harms Wi...

In January 2015 North Dakota experienced one of the worst environmental disasters in its history: A pipeline burst, spilling nearly 3 million gallons of briny, saltwater waste from nearby oil-drilling operations into two creek beds. The wastewater, which flowed all the way to the Missouri River, contained chloride concentrations high enough to kill any wildlife that encountered it. It wasn’t the first such disaster in...